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After visiting London, our next destination was Montagne, St. Emilion, France. Our destination was Château Beauséjour in the Bordeaux region to meet with Pierre Bernault. We arrived at this historic chateau and property on a clear, beautiful day in order to have dinner with Pierre and his assistant Violeñe. Eric and I were there to officially meet Pierre in person - on behalf of Vegan Wines, that is - and taste his wines to discuss the possibility of letting us sell them in the near future. Violeñe cooked a delicious vegan dinner for us to pair with the wine tasting that Pierre had in mind.
We spent a wonderful night savoring his fantastic red wines alongside delicious foods while we learned more about the vineyard and its vintages. After a gorgeous sunset, the clear night let us enjoy amazing views of the Milky Way, which is something I had never witnessed on my own. We enjoyed the meal and the twinkling stars above as Pierre enlightened us about the chateau, the vines, and his wines. It was the epitome of a perfect French evening!
Founded in the age of the Roman Empire, around 2000 years ago, the property has many buildings. The Beauséjour buildings were built in 1851, but the vineyard itself is quite ancient. With roughly 12 hectares, the vineyard is a substantial size and all of the grapes and fruits used in the wine are sourced right from the premises. The setting is ideal for a vineyard with a clay and limestone soil that averages around 45 cm in depth. The subsoil is also part of the vineyard's success as it is pure limestone that descends hundreds of meters below the surface. The premium soil, Pierre explained, is why such optimal varieties thrive here. The vineyard has Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes, along with several ancient varieties unique only to the vineyard. Originally planted around 1901, there have been several other successive plantings over the course of many decades, with some as recent as 2016. And of course, its location in the Bordeaux region of France provides the perfect maritime climate and conditions necessary for creating classic reds.
But it's clear that Pierre himself is really what sets Château Beauséjour apart. He talked at length about the health of the ecosystem throughout the grounds, and he spoke with great pride of the varieties of vines that appear here but nowhere else. These old vines, as well as the more common cultivars, really allow the vintages to stand apart from others that are made in the area, but it is Pierre's commitment and work ethic that adds to the flavor.
Eric and I had a wonderful evening experiencing the warmth and hospitality of Pierre and Château Beauséjour, and enjoying dinner, wine, and great conversations. I also fell in love with his enchanting chateau! Thank you, Pierre Bernault! Oh, and the meeting and tasting went so well that I'm excited to announce that Château Beauséjour's wine will be my very first import from France that I'll feature in our club. Vegan Wines will be the only wine club in the US that consistently carries his petite vintage! I can't wait to share Pierre's wine with all of our members, so be sure to sign up so you can taste it!